Book Review: Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien (Three Stars)

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Book Review: Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien

Three Stars

“You never know what will happen next, when once you get mixed up with wizards and their ‘friends.’”

This is a story for children, specifically for Tolkien’s children motivated by the loss of a toy. More than that will spoil the telling. It’s oral tradition started long before any of his published works, though traces of Middle Earth can be gleaned from reading this final text.

“…on the stomach (where dragons are particularly tender.)”

It’s more profitable to compare this story with Farmer Giles of Ham in The Tolkien Reader and Smith of Wootten Minor, not The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. Violates some of the very principles he would elucidate within the decade in his address “On Fairy Stories” in The Tolkien Reader.

“…and saw off in the last West the mountains of Elvenhome.”

A fun read, and a rare look into the developing talent of one of the greatest story tellers of the twentieth century. This edition is fully annotated to help modern readers fully appreciate the tale.

“…as quick as kiss your hand.”

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Book Review: Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (Five Stars)

Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien

(Five Stars our of Five)

A visit to Faery. Beware. It may touch your soul.

Unlike Lord of the Rings, which Tolkien famously labored over for decades, Smith came to him in a flash, and he dashed it off whole. It has a rough quality which betrays both that inspiration and that lack of refining. Nonetheless, it should entertain and enrich any reader who appreciate other Tolkien short stories, such as “Farmer Giles of Ham” or “Leaf by Niggle”.

An excellent companion for his essay “On Fairy Stories” from The Tolkien Reader, since Continue reading